Think you can’t possibly survive an international flight with kids? Especially one that lasts longer than three hours. I’m so surprised by the number of parents who panic over flying with kids. Even to the extent that they won’t travel with them. I don’t want that for you because travel with kids is amazing and flying with them can be a fun experience…if you know how to do it right. I’ve been flying with my girls since they were six weeks old. Starting them young has helped them to be comfortable and happy flyers. They really are a joy to fly with and I’ve only had one stressful moment with them. Kalyra was 2 years old, and tired on our 6am flight and refused to put her seat belt on for takeoff. We calmed her down pretty fast. Luckily it was mostly business travelers preparing for their morning meetings and not trying to sleep.
We’re sharing these tips in sponsorship with Qatar Airways, a very family friendly airline. Qatar Airways recently won ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, which was held at the Paris Air Show. With our flying with kid’s tips, we’ll share how Qatar Airways helps to keep children engaged, comfortable and entertained on an international flight. Since their first flight, we have painted a picture for them of flying being a grand adventure. Yes, we even talked to them (and let them feel our excitement) about it when they were babies. “Oh, we’re going flying. And then we talk about the various aspects of flying and what is fun about it. We ask them what they are most looking forward to and look at the airline (and destination) online. Now that my girls are older, they do this themselves. Involve your children in the flying experience. Sit them on your lap when you book the ticket. Let them pack their bags. Let them read the boards to find their flight and departure information.
They can hand their tickets and passports to the attendants and roll their suitcases as they look for their seat numbers. The more in control they feel of the flight experience the more they’ll warm to it. Be sure to pre-order your child’s meal before your flight. We’ve been caught out before on an international flight where the kids were given adult meals as we did not specify kid’s meals were required. We thought given that our tickets pretty clearly showed they were kids this would be a given, but apparently not. Fussy children, like my Savannah, do not enjoy adult’s meals. That was a long 8 hour flight as we had no back up food! My next tip then is to always have back up food. Hungry children on a flight is not good for anyone. Pack plenty of water and their favorite snacks, perhaps a sandwich or two.
Be sure your child has a healthy meal before they board the plane as well. Limit sugar as this will only dehydrate them more on the plane. Be sure they drink a lot of water on the plane to stay hydrated. On Qatar Airways, children receive a meal box packed with fresh, tasty and nutritious meals, a fruit juice and fun treats. The meal packs keep the kids engaged by featuring some of the most loved games and characters from Hasbro. Your kids can keep the meal box and bring home a fun memento from their journey. Let your child roam the aisles (when it is safe to do so), especially younger children. It keeps them occupied, and helps their bodies let the energy out and feel a little calmer. Plus, younger children often bring a lot of joy to passengers as they walk up and down giggling and doing cute baby things. Taking frequent toilet breaks will help your child keep moving.
If you need to go to the bathroom, take your child with you and make them go, as much as you can. It saves coming in and out and disturbing the people in your row. If your child becomes unsettled, get up and walk with them. Or, if need be take them in the toilet for some time out! For babies, get in early and book a bassinet. These can be a lifesaver when flying internationally with children. There are limited number of bassinets on the plane. Plus, it gives the parents lots of extra legroom as they are in the position where there are no seats in front of you. In addition to priority boarding and the option to reserve a bassinet seat, parents travelling with infants will have access to Qatar Airways’ special kit, which includes diapers, baby food jars, a bottle and soft toys. Have a bag for the kids filled with plenty of things to entertain them. We always include coloring, activity books, reading books, journals, and toys or comforters.
- ½ cup each of pecans and walnuts, chopped or bashed into smaller pieces
- Take supplements
- Using negative food talk
- Improve their minds
Download any games or movies on their electronic devices before boarding the plane and make sure they are fully charged. For long flights you may want to have a bag of surprises. 1 store and grab a bunch of cheap toys, wrap them up and then every hour let them unwrap one to play with. It will keep them engaged and entertained and excited. Qatar Airways help to entertain your children with an activity pack given upon boarding. These creative and educational kits come with crayons, stickers and an activity book filled puzzles, fun facts, and coloring pages. If you are travelling with an infant, they offer a sleepy-time Ella Fun soft-plush toy with an eye mask to encourage relaxing sleep and a soft-plush book. We are still old school and prefer the in-flight entertainment on planes and will always use that in preferences over personal devices. It makes plane rides more exciting for children (and adults).
I hope international flights never take them away, even though more people use their personal devices. It makes the experience different to what they are always used to at home with their devices. And it brings in the element of surprise for them to see what is showing on movies and games. You want them to see flying as an adventure full of surprises and this helps to do that. The first thing my girls do when they board the plane is scroll through the entertainment system and squeal when they discover what is waiting for them. On long international flights they even try to see who can stay up the longest watching the movies on the plane’s entertainment device as it’s once in a lifetime for them! Play games with them on the in-flight entertainment system and look over the flying map with them. Show them where they are now, how far they have come, how long to go. On our last flight, Savannah loved looking at the map and seeing how far we had flown.